Cerebral Cavernoma

Cerebral cavernoma seizures

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

When a group of blood vessels dilate abnormally, they form bubble-like cavities called caverns. When these caverns form in the brain, the resulting condition is called a cerebral cavernoma. The blood circulation is not normal within these caverns. If these caverns are formed anywhere in the central nervous system they have the potential to cause severe complications which can be fatal.
A cavern formed anywhere in the CNS can have serious repercussions. When these caverns begin to bleed is when they turn dangerous. The bleeding is often progressive and so are the associated symptoms. It initially begins with loss of sensory functions, dizziness, vision problems, balance problems, and can even lead to hemorrhagic stroke. This type of stroke occurs when there is internal bleeding within the brain. It is essential that an individual with cavernoma symptoms keep their BP in check. High BP can trigger a stroke.
Headaches are often the early signs of a cerebral cavernoma. In addition to headaches, a person may also experience dizziness, vomiting, nausea, and at times, epileptic seizures. Some people may also begin to show classic symptoms of stroke in case of cerebral cavernoma such as double vision and slurred speech.

What Is A Cavernoma? What Does It Look Like?

A cavernoma or cavernous malformation is a rare condition involving the abnormal dilation of a group of blood vessels. As a result of this dilation, bubble-like cavities called caverns form in the affected blood vessels. The flow of blood through these caverns is slowed down and the walls of the vessels are particularly weak at these spots. Hence, there is a possibility of the walls being breached and giving rise to bleeding. Since these dilated blood vessels with caverns appear in clusters and tend to be red (or purplish) in color, they are often likened to raspberries in appearance. Technically, a cavernoma is considered a type of vascular lesion.

What Is A Cerebral Cavernoma?

CEREBRAL CAVERNOMA strokeCavernomas can arise anywhere in the body. They may even be present in the skin, where they are clearly visible externally, forming red bumps. Those that affect the central nervous system (the brain or spinal cord or both) are rather rarer. Generally, spinal cord cavernomas are rarer than those in the brain. A cerebral cavernoma could potentially develop in any part of the brain and in an individual of any age, gender or ancestry.

Sometimes, a single individual could have multiple such abnormal formations in the brain. These may be so small as to only be noticeable under a microscope. Others may span several inches in diameter. These dilated blood vessels could leak out the blood that has pooled within them. They could even give rise to various neurological symptoms that could be life-threatening.

What Causes Cerebral Cavernomas?

The true cause is not well understood. A small number of cases are attributed to genetic factors as the condition appears to run in certain families. There are two main scenarios associated with the formation of cavernous malformations in the brain, namely:

  • A hereditary condition is known as familial multiple cavernous malformation syndromes.
  • Having received radiation to the head and neck region. This includes radiation therapy or accidental exposure.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Cerebral Cavernoma?

cerebral cavernoma hemorrhageWhen a cavernoma arises in the central nervous system, it is capable of causing severe neurological symptoms and potentially fatal complications. The nature and severity of symptoms are dependent on the specific location of the cavernoma in the brain or spinal cord. Sometimes, though, the condition is ‘silent’ and does not cause any noticeable symptoms.

Some potential symptoms are listed below:

  • Headaches.
  • Dizziness.
  • Slurring of speech.
  • Numbness.
  • Other sensory disturbances.
  • Weakness.
  • Double vision or blurring of vision.
  • Difficulty maintaining balance.
  • Difficulty with memory.
  • Internal bleeding.
  • Tremors.
  • Seizures.
  • Hemorrhagic stroke.

Ensure that your surging blood pressure doesn’t trigger a cerebral cavernoma.

Do Cerebral Cavernomas Cause Any Complications?

Symptoms often set in when a cerebral cavernoma bleeds. But they tend to abate as the blood is reabsorbed. This can happen when bleeding is very gradual or when a very small quantity of blood leaks from the cavernoma. Symptoms can worsen progressively if there is a significant and continuous bleed. A bleeding cavernoma can progressively build up pressure on the nervous tissue around it and this can have critical outcomes. For one, it could cause a significant hemorrhage. The risk of hemorrhage is compounded if the patient is found to have multiple such malformations. However, superficial lesions are less likely to bleed than more deep-seated ones.

How Can This Condition Be Diagnosed?

Cerebral cavernoma seizuresBased upon the symptoms alone, it is difficult to accurately diagnose a case of brain or spinal cavernoma. This is especially true since the condition is quite a rare one. Cavernomas are sometimes detected incidentally while conducting tests investigating some other neurological problem. The best way to correctly identify this condition is by means of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests.

In general, the standard diagnostic protocol would include the following steps:

  • Physical examination.
  • Medical history.
  • Computerised tomography (CT) tests.
  • Angiogram.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test.

Treatment and Prevention

Once the lesion or lesions have been detected, the doctor may or may not advise making any active intervention. If the lesion is largely asymptomatic and small in size, it may be advisable to leave it as it is. In order to keep an eye on the cavernoma, it would still be necessary to monitor it by repeating the tests at regular intervals. On the other hand, some cases may require therapy and there are a number of options available. Medications can help to manage seizures and prevent strokes. Surgery is another alternative. However, the choice of treatment will depend on the extent and severity of the condition and the specific location of the lesion. It is also important to take into account the general health and age of the patient before proceeding to undertake surgery.

There are no methods to prevent cerebral cavernoma. However, adopting a healthy lifestyle, management of weight, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure levels is advised. Stress levels should be checked in order to prevent the sudden shooting up of blood pressure.

Facts

  • Approximately 20% of cases of cerebral cavernoma depict inheritance as a cause.

Facts

  • Around 75% of the total brain mass comprises water.
  • The brain can survive without an oxygen supply only for around 4 to 6 minutes.

Facts

  • The length of blood vessels in the brain comes to around 150,000 miles.

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When a group of blood vessels dilate abnormally, they form bubble-like cavities called caverns. When these caverns form in the brain, the resulting condition is called a cerebral cavernoma. The blood circulation is not normal within these caverns. If these caverns are formed anywhere in the central nervous system they have the potential to cause severe complications which can be fatal.
A cavern formed anywhere in the CNS can have serious repercussions. When these caverns begin to bleed is when they turn dangerous. The bleeding is often progressive and so are the associated symptoms. It initially begins with loss of sensory functions, dizziness, vision problems, balance problems, and can even lead to hemorrhagic stroke. This type of stroke occurs when there is internal bleeding within the brain. It is essential that an individual with cavernoma symptoms keep their BP in check. High BP can trigger a stroke.
Headaches are often the early signs of a cerebral cavernoma. In addition to headaches, a person may also experience dizziness, vomiting, nausea, and at times, epileptic seizures. Some people may also begin to show classic symptoms of stroke in case of cerebral cavernoma such as double vision and slurred speech.

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Keep a record of your symptoms. A symptom calendar can include all the details related to your symptoms such as its occurrence for the first time, duration, severity etc.
  • Make a list of all the medications prescribed along with the nutritional and vitamin supplements that you are taking.
  • Manage stress. Stress management can be done by practicing meditation, mindful breathing techniques etc. Get enough sleep to reduce your stress levels.
Don'ts
  • Skip your routine health check-up. This will help you to keep an eye on your blood pressure and cholesterol levels and will keep you well-informed about the condition of the malformation.
  • Have alcohol consumption. It might make the symptoms worse.
  • Indulge in smoking. Nicotine can adversely affect the health of your blood vessels.

 

 

 

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Caralluma Fimbriata: How to eat this cactus to lose weight Caralluma fimbriata is a miracle cactus that can be safely consumed by most for losing weight and boosting…
Coffee Enema: Turn your favorite morning beverage into a powerful colon cleanser The wonders of coffee are not just limited to waking you up every morning. You can now use…
Atkins diet weight loss
Atkins Diet: The right steps to carb control that can help you lose those pounds fast The Atkins diet is a high fat, low-carb diet with proven weight loss benefits that is flexible enough…
Barium-enema
Barium Enema Barium enema is also known as colon x-ray. Here, the patient is asked to consume small amount of…
phenytoin test
Phenytoin test Phenytoin is a drug that is administered mainly to epilepsy patients. The phenytoin blood test measures the level…
Rubella IgM test
Rubella IgM Test The Rubella IgM test is a blood test that is performed to diagnose the presence of the rubella…
chloride test
Chloride Test A chloride test of the blood checks the level of chloride in body, an important factor governing the…
complement c4 test
Anemia Profile Anemia Profile test (Basic) is a blood screening test that measures the levels of important components of the…
shiitake mushrooms healthy
What are Shiitake Mushrooms and why should you eat them? Shiitake Mushrooms are well known for their smoky and robust taste. However, did you know they are replete…
Optavia diet
The features of an Optavia diet The Optavia diet endorses pre-packaged meals and snacks called "fuelings" that are tasty, low in calorie, and incorporates…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of cold beer add…
Love tea, hate tannins? Rooibos tea is just what you need The market is brimming with a multitude of herbal teas. But what makes rooibos tea (or red bush)…
How to correctly perform nasal irrigation using a Neti Pot? Neti pot has been a part of Ayurveda since centuries. This ancient tool is extremely effective in treating…
The Cabbage Soup Diet: The healthiest way to instant weight loss Cabbage soup diet rapid weight loss diet for those who want to shed those extra pounds in less…
reflexology massage
Top reasons why you should go for a reflexology massage today Reflexology involves the application of pressure to your feet and hands to encourage self-healing. Could this be beneficial…
valproic acid test
Valproic Acid Test Valproic acid test is performed to generally check for psychiatric and even neurological conditions such as bipolar disease…
myelogram
Myelography Myelography is an important diagnostic tool that is used to investigate and identify abnormalities in the spine and…
sodium blood test
Blood Sodium Test A blood sodium test measures the amount of sodium (an important electrolyte) in your body. It is also…
Coconut sugar: What is it and is it healthier than table sugar? In the long list of things that the wonderful coconut gives us, coconut sugar is another remarkable addition.…
Mood swings
The real reasons for your mood swings and how to overcome them Are you prone to heated moods frequently? Do you also feel bouts of depressive feeling creeping up on…
Quinine: How gin and tonic came to be known as a potent health elixir The discovery of quinine-containing tree bark is sometimes considered the most serendipitous medical discovery of the 17th century.
These are the top foods to increase your hemoglobin count It is important to add iron-rich foods into your diet in order to increase hemoglobin. Deficiency of hemoglobin could…
Balneotherapy jacuzzi
5 things you didn’t know about balneotherapy and how you can do it at home Sauna baths have been popular since a long time. But how much more beneficial can balneotherapy be as…
GGt test
GGT – Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test GGT or gammaglutamyl transferase test is a liver function test that is used to detect the extent of…
C-Reactive Protein Test A CRP or c-reactive protein blood test is an important diagnostic tool used to determine the risk of…
ANTIPHOSPHOLIPIDANTIBODY(APL)_IgG
Antiphospholipid (APL) antibody-IgG The Antiphospholipid Antibody testing is a blood test used to determine an autoimmune disorder called Antiphospholipid syndrome linked…
Strep throat pain
Anti-Streptolysin-O Test The ASO or Anti-Streptolysin-O is a blood test designed to check for the presence of streptococcus bacterial infection…
vdrl test syphilis
VDRL Test The VDRL test is a blood test that is used to diagnose sexually transmitted or venereal diseases, primarily…
Okra: How can this nutrient-dense vegetable help you fight diabetes? Okra is a food which is rich in nutrients and minerals which are extremely essential for a healthy…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking is good for…